Browsing Category "how to"
11 May
2012

All washed up – a DIY beachy coat rack

A couple of months ago we had a wild, stormy week here on Oahu. There was rain, lightning, high winds, hail and even  a “water spout”  miniature tornado off Lanikai Beach. Needless to say, there was no swimming for awhile and even beach walks were a little difficult. The week after the storm, the beach was strewn with debris – glass, boards, nails, dead fish, boat cushions – you name it.

My awesome husband happened upon this cute little painted board – half buried in the sand – and he knew it was something I’d want. Yes, my own piece of reclaimed wood with perfectly distressed orange paint! I wasn’t sure what I would do with it, but I knew I needed to take it home.

After staring at it for a month, I decided that with a few hooks it would make a perfect rack to hang coats and bags by the kitchen door. And thankfully, our giant wave print will make the little beach board feel right at home! Since we are renting our house and our walls are boring tan, any and all pops of color are welcome.

Next up was to choose whether to use one, two or three hooks. I think any of these would have turned out great, but two seemed the most balanced for the size of the board.

These metal hooks were left over from our old house and I hadn’t yet figured out what to do with them in the new place. (I bought them at Ikea, back when you could purchase Leksvik hooks individually. Now you can only buy them attached to a coat rack.) Anyway, I like that they are metal but not solid black. They kind of have a distressed look to them, which goes great with the reclaimed, washed up board.

A couple of screws later and some nails on the back to fasten it to the wall, and it was done!

So, messy counter and all, the photo on the left shows how it fits on the kitchen wall – centered between a door and window. This has been a weird entryway to get used to since the door opens into the space and we also need room to open the cupboards. This has made it impossible to use my larger coat/hat rack and shoe bench. Instead I settled on a bright yellow Tub Trug to corral flip flops. And my new DIY beachy coat rack is perfect for a bag and a hoodie. Who needs a row of coats in Hawaii, right? And a final bit of joy was seeing that my newest beach bag from Target matches the flip flop bucket. This whole citrusy theme just screams endless summer.

3 Nov
2011

Fall Pinterest Challenge: Let’s find some beautiful place to get lost, shall we?

Who loves a challenge? Me! The ladies over at Young House Love and Bower Power have teamed up with Ana and Erin for a new Pinterest Challenge. The idea is to do something crafty and inspirational based on something you’ve pinned on Pinterest.

I have a board for art projects and DIY ideas and have been trying to tackle a new art project every couple of months. Here’s how my latest project started. I tumblred upon this “Let’s find some beautiful place to get lost” piece* awhile back and also found it on Pinterest. It took some digging to figure out who made it – designer Shaun Sundholm.

Anyway,  I love the strong typography combined with the photo. It’s the perfect wanderlust piece – makes me want to go somewhere great. I also have a thing for maps, so I decided to combine my inspiration to make a personal art piece of beautiful places I’ve gotten lost. The letters are cut out of an old United States atlas. I started with places that are important to us – where we were both born, cities we grew up in, places we’ve lived together and then added in favorite trips we’ve taken together like Yosemite, the San Juan Islands, Victoria and San Francisco.

I did the type layout in Illustrator and then printed the words on plain paper. Then I cut the letters out, traced them onto the atlas pages and cut the letters out again. To mix things up with the words “Let’s” and “lost,” I used bright photos from a couple of our favorite trips outside the U.S. — Greece and Nice! Then I lined everything up on a large piece of paper, taped the letters in place and framed it.

Hurray! I love it and have it displayed proudly on my mantle with adventurous things like a bicycle photo, travel guides and vintage binoculars.

I can’t wait to tackle another Pinterest-inspired project. Thanks, all you creative Pinteresters, for the inspiration!

*And – credit where credit is due – go buy Shaun’s poster on 20×200 if you like it, although it’s currently sold out.

 

17 Jul
2011

You’ve taken how many photos?

After owning my iPhone for just over a year, I can’t even imagine what my life was like pre-smartphone. Since I recently backed up my phone and created a photo archive, I was able to see just what I’ve been up to in the past year! Sorting through 3,326 photos was no small feat, but it was so fun to relive the moments as I organized. It was like a cluttered, non-mindful version of the Jonathan Harris – Today video.

I also enjoyed seeing all the location geotags from my photos. In Google Picasa, I keep the Places pane open* and it’s so fun to see the places I’ve been since I got my phone. I was amazed at all the traveling I’ve done. And on the iPhone it’s even more fun … as you zoom in to look at a location, more places tags appear on the screen. Oh, memory lane!

*If you’re posting or sharing a photo, the best bet is to click on the red pinpoint in your Picasa Places map and choose “Erase location info” for the places you don’t want to share with the world!

28 Jun
2011

How to: Transfer and sync an iPhone 4 to a new computer

… without losing your data and your mind!

I’m not sure why this is such a difficult thing to research. Here’s where it started for me: I got a new laptop (yay!) and eight months later finally decided that I should probably cut ties to my old laptop once and for all (crap!). My iPhone and iTunes account were the last things I was using the old laptop for and after many evenings of research, and not finding anything definitive, I just went with it the best I knew how. Things turned out okay.

For some reason, most of the iPhone support documents and websites out there are either trying to sell you an app or program to help you transfer files, or they assume you no longer have access to your old PC or that you have wiped the data from your phone. I guess there’s no help for those of us just feeling technically inept.

So here’s what I wanted to do — transfer my iPhone data, music, books, apps, contacts and photos to a new laptop.

And here’s how I did it:

  1. Sync your iPhone with the old computer one last time which also makes one last backup copy in case something goes wrong. (Keep in mind this a backup of the phone data, not your photos and music. So if you were to “restore from backup” you’d still be out of luck.)
  2. Copy all photos. Just to be sure I didn’t screw things up, I made a backup copy of my 3,000 iPhone photos and videos. I copied the folder onto a giant external hard drive and transferred them to my new laptop.
  3. Copy all music. Here’s the step that could take awhile! I copied my entire “My Music” folder, including my “iTunes” folder onto my new computer and replaced the existing Libraries > Music folder.
  4. Open iTunes and update the location of your iTunes media folder location. If you don’t do this, your library will show up in iTunes but the links to your music will be broken and you’ll see exclamation points next to each track. Oh noooooes!!! In iTunes choose Edit > Preferences, and under the Advanced tab, change the “iTunes media folder location” to the  place you pasted your files. So on Windows XP it was probably something like:
    C:\Documents and Settings\your name\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music
    but on your new Windows 7 computer it should be:
    C:\Users\Your Name\Music\iTunes\iTunes Music
    Once you click OK, iTunes will update your library and reconcile all the issues. Exclamation points no more!
  5. Sync your iPhone. Now you just plug in your iPhone and sync it with the new computer. No worries of it begin wiped out, and even if you did have some kind of freak accident, you can always sync it with the old laptop and start again.
  6. Authorize your new laptop in iTunes by going to Store > Authorize This Computer. If you have a shortage of authorizations, you can always test things out and then deauthorize your old computer to gain one back.
  7. Set up your automatically syncing folders for photos and your playlists. I usually choose “Manually manage music and videos” on my iPhone so I don’t have to worry about iTunes trying to load up my whole library on my teeny tiny 14GB phone.

That’s it. I hope this ends up helping someone. I read the iPhone 4 user guide PDF several times while shrieking at my screen “That’s it? THAT’S IT? That’s all you can tell me?” Rage! But all is well now.

10 Jun
2009

How To: Make Tomato Ladders from the IKEA Salvia Trellis

Ladder or cage? The great debate. I have been obsessing over the idea of using tomato ladders rather than cages this year. I’ve heard they’re great for smaller spaces (like raised beds) because they help the plant grow up rather than out.

I had my eye on these beautiful red tomato ladders from Gardener’s Supply, but at $50 for a set of three, I’d be out $100 just on tomato supports!  While it’s not my main purpose for gardening, I do like the idea that I’m saving money by growing food in my backyard. So, for now the red steel ladders will wait on my wishlist.

I knew I couldn’t use the flimsy $1.99 variety either…last year I had to triage with bamboo, twine and pieces of a trellis – it got pretty ugly. Insert my seemingly endless supply of IKEA Salvia trellises, which I bought on clearance last year for $3. I copied the concept of a tomato ladder using pieces of the trellis. Each ladder uses six Salvia trellis squares (there are nine squares in a pack).

How To:

  1. Hook together three pieces of the trellis with the middle piece on the “outside.” This is one side of the trellis.
  2. Attach the lower and middle pieces of the other side by slipping them through the square part of the first side and interlocking them. Repeat with the top piece.
  3. Use zip ties to hook the middle vertical sections together. This helps strengthen the ladder since the top and bottom corners of the trellis are loose.
  4. Insert the lower angled pieces into the ground and drive small stakes or pins into the ground to anchor the ladder.

There you have it – a thick, steel tomato ladder for $10 each (or $2 in my case). All that’s missing is the cheery color. The good news is that it matches the trellis we already made for the sweat peas. So what do you think of my IKEA hack?  Have you made anything with the IKEA Salvia trellis?